NFL Video Rulebook Non-Football Act Fouls

Rule 12 Section 3

Rule Summary View Official Rule


There shall be no unsportsmanlike conduct. This applies to any act which is contrary to the generally understood principles of sportsmanship. Such acts specifically include, among others:

  1. Throwing a punch, or a forearm, or kicking at an opponent, even though no contact is made.
  2. Using abusive, threatening, or insulting language or gestures to opponents, teammates, officials, or representatives of the League.
  3. Using baiting or taunting acts or words that may engender ill will between teams.


  1. Under no circumstance is a player allowed to shove, push, or strike an official in an offensive, disrespectful, or unsportsmanlike manner. The player shall be disqualified from the game, and any such action must be reported to the Commissioner.

  2. Two violations of (a), (b), or (c) (above) by the same player, which occur before or during the game, will result in disqualification in addition to the yardage penalty. Any violations at the game site on the day of the game, including postgame, may result in discipline by the Commissioner. Any violation of (g) above may result in disqualification and also will include discipline by the Commissioner. An official must see the entire action for a player to be disqualified.